CHICAGO – Officials of both government and private sectors should always try to be proactive, instead of being reactive, in their performance of public service.
As a popular American proverb says, “there are three types of people — those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.”
If we always wonder what happens, chances are we would end up with an empty bag with billions of dollars being lost to corruption.
We can stop corrupt people from further bilking the government and non-profit organizations under their control. I propose that any government or non-government official, who has access to money of the government or non-government organization, execute an undertaking before a bonding agency that in the event the government or non-government organization runs into deficit because of fraudulent or wrongful conduct, the bonding agencies should automatically refund the money lost.
These officials could not have the lame excuse of exercising good faith if they were not careful in hiring personnel and closely supervising them.
My proposal is similar to the bond executed by a criminal defendant or respondent in a court of law, who pays a premium to buy bond. In case the defendant or respondent does not show up at the hearing, the court collects the bond from the bond agency.
But corruption is not homegrown in the Philippines. It happens everywhere.
Take for instance the billions of pesos supposed to have been stolen by Philippine Vice President Jojo Binay from the coffers of Makati City Hall when he was its long-time mayor.
Or the millions of pesos allegedly lost by the Philippine government to three senators — Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinngoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla — who are behind bar and facing plunder charges for supposedly channeling the millions from their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to non-existent infrastructure projects.
Pretty soon, there will be a third batch of government officials who will be facing the music. They include Sen. Gregorio “Greg” Honasan, my kababayan (town mate) from Sorsogon province, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva – who will be among those facing malversation raps at the Office of the Ombudsman.
The others include pork barrel queen Janet Lim-Napoles, La Union Rep. Victor Ortega (first district), former La Union Rep. Manuel Ortega, former Zamboanga Rep. Isidoro Real Jr., Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing (fifth district), Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (second district), Abono Rep. Conrado Estrella III and former Abono Rep. Robert Raymundo Estrella.
Here in the United States, one big corruption case involves FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of association football (soccer), futsal and beach soccer. After a 47-count indictment of 14 individuals was unsealed by the US Justice Department, FIFA officials were charged with collecting a staggering $150 million in bribes and kickbacks from sports-marketing firms for media and marketing rights to international football tournaments.
The money exchanged hands over the selection of South Africa to host the 2010 Men’s World Cup (including $10 million paid to three members of the FIFA selection committee) and kickbacks in exchange for votes in FIFA’s 2011 presidential elections.
Had Vice President Binay, Senators Enrile, Estrada and Revilla and Honasan, Janet Lim-Napoles, Representatives Ortegas, Real, Bagatsing, Rodriguez, Estrella and Raymundo Estrella as well as FIFA officials filed bonds before they ran for public office, the Philippine government and FIFA would not have been left holding the empty bag.